Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Michael Everett Senior Member • Posts: 1,944
Re: Light/small/sharp/wide manual legacy prime lens for $50

Nicholas W wrote:

I picked up a Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4 for $60 on eBay. I had to watch eBay for a couple weeks to catch mine at that price though. The FDn is much lighter than the older SSC model, you can tell it's an FDn if it has the green lettering and goes to f/22. Without the adapter, the FDn fits nicely in the case my Sigma 19mm came with. The FDn 50mm f/1.4 has typical softness wide open, but at f/2 it starts to sharpen up quickly. It is sharper than my Sigma 30mm f2.8 in the corners, once you get down to f/5.6 or f/8.

+1 on the Canon FDn 1.4, although the way prices have gone I doubt if you can find a good one for $60 anymore.  I have had two, the first was cheap and it was not that great.  I paid more for the second to get one in excellent condition and it was worth it.  I think I paid over $100 for it a couple of years ago.  The Canon FDn 1.8 is also very good, but not as quite as good as the 1.4.  The older Canon FD are excellent lenses, can be gotten cheap, but man, they are heavy.

If you go the OM 50 1.8 route (BTW not as good as the Canon IMO), be sure to get one that says on it "Made in Japan."  Those are the best.

Someone mentioned the Fujian.  I got one ($19 with adapter), and it's a fun lens for what it is: Mediocre in center and complete mush on the edges.  Under some circumstances it can make an interesting portrait lens.  You don't worry about bokeh; everything outside the center is so fuzzy it might as well be bokeh.


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